• Robert Emil Alexander McKimmin

Army / Flying Corps
    Unknown
    Unknown
    Unknown

To select multiple units, brigades and ranks, hold the ctrl or shift key on your keyboard and select your options

    Unknown
  • Enlistment - WW1

    Townsville City, QLD, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Townsville City, QLD, Australia

Stories and comments
    • The Men of "A" Company, 26th Battalion
    • Posted by jaydsydaus121, Tuesday, 14 January 2020

    Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (National : 1901 - 1973) Sat 22 May 1915 [Issue No.41] Page 953 Department of Defence, Ex. Min. Xo. 356. Melbourne, 19th May, 1915. AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE. Appointments and Promotions. HIS Excellency the Governor-General, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, has been pleased to approve of the following appointments and promotions being made in the Australian Imperial Force, to date from 15th May, 1915, except where otherwise stated : — To be 2nd Lieutenants— 2nd Lieutenant R. E. A. McKIMMlN, 2nd Infantry (Kennedy Regiment). Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld. : 1907 - 1954) Fri 24 Dec 1915 Page 4 NEWS FROM GALLIPOLI. Lieut. R. E. A. McKimmin, in a letter to his father dated September 18, says. -"I am sitting in my "dug-out" writing this epistle, while the shells and bullets are flying over my head, some of the latter being too close to be pleasant. Except when there is a charge on, the dug-outs and firing line are the safest places over here. Anywhere else you are liable to catch stray bullets, snipers, or shrapnel. The dug-outs (which every man has to dig for himself) are holes dug into the side of the hill and protected by sand-bags when available. In these we sleep, eat and rest when off duty. We arrived here last Saturday, 11th Inst., at midnight and were practically under fire the whole time during disembarkation. We were very lucky as there was only one casualty in the whole brigade, the unfortunate fellow getting a bullet through his leg. Since then, of course, we have had a fair number of casualties in the brigade, including a few deaths. Our battalion as a whole, has not been in the trenches on garrison so far (except a platoon, now and then) but is being kept as a "reserve battalion," doing fatigue work ie., widening saps, mining, tunnelling and making roads, mostly at night all over the place. Though we have not been in the firing line we have had the most casualties so far, being exposed so much, doing outside work. The rations here are very good and plentiful, the daily issue being Biscuits, tea, sugar, milk, bully-beef, bacon, onions, and when available fresh meat, rice, eggs, bread, rum, lime juice, cigarettes, tobacco, dried vegetables and writing material, all of which are generally issued weekly. The supplies are really wonderful and very regular, considering the state of affairs, but even then some men grumble, they are never satisfied, though it is mostly those who have not been used to such good food and conditions and are never happy unless they're grumbling. Every man here is his own cook, and it is great fun to see them all trying to cook fancy dishes. Owing to the great number of cooking fires, wood is, of course, very scarce about here, and some of it has to be brought Egypt. I have been in a lot of the trenches in the firing line, and in some places the Turks are only 10 and 15 yards away, especially at Quinn's Post, where, at one point where it was (known as the Death Trap), there is only five yards difference between the two bomb-posts. The Turks one night were discovered under-mining for a bomb-post and the Australians immediately did the same to meet them, hence the narrow margin. No trenches have ever been as close as this anywhere in this great conflict. The average distance, from trench to trench at Quinn's Post (which covers about 100yds) is only 25yds. This position, which is absolutely the crux of the situation is named after Major H. Quinn, of Townsville, who held the position and was killed in action there. I believe Captain Walsh and Lieut H. P. Armstrong were also killed up there. Both sides have each other heavily mined and could blow up each other should occasion arise. While up there I had four shots with the rifle out of one of the loop holes and also a couple from the gurkha's trenches on our left. Of course you don't see many Turks about, but simply fire at any openings at all in the trenches, while up there at Quinn's Post. I had a couple of close shaves. I had just left a bomb post when a bomb was thrown in and exploded, the other chaps rushing in under cover just behind me. A little later, I was looking through a trench periscope, when a bullet struck the upper mirror a few inches above my head, giving me a terrible fright and making me drop the periscope. This is, of course, quite a usual occurrence in the trenches. The other day I was coming back from the water-well, when a spent Turkish bullet grazed the toe of my right boot, leaving. a mark on it. In some places where the Turks and our trenches are under 40 yards apart one sees the grim side of war. Both sides have made attacks and been repulsed, and those that don't come back, well poor chaps, they just remain where they fell. In some cases they have been lying there for months, the stench being awful, and neither side dare venture out to claim and bury them, especially at Quinn's Post, which gruesome spectacle I witnessed with my own eyes. There are lots of New Zealand and English batteries quite close to us, and the noise at times is simply deafening, and racks one's nerves. The Turks have fired hundreds of shells at these, with the result of only one very slight casualty. They waste a terrible lot of ammunition just here, every day In a letter dated October 11, Lieut. McKimmin says: We have now been here over four weeks and are still going strong, having had very few casualties altogether, and except for the usual complaint, diarrhoea there has been very little sickness in the battalion. You cannot imagine how eagerly every man looks for mail over here; we have just been notified that there are 10 bags of letters and papers coming to us, and every man is delighted and eagerly waiting. Up to the present our battalion has been most lucky. Where others have been torpedoed, fired at and shelled, we have been safely kept from it all, being held in reserve. We have been told that we are the luckiest battalion that has ever landed here. Except for a few odd shells now and then and stray bullets our camp has been fairly safe. One afternoon was particularly exciting, shells falling in and about our hospital, and one lobbing just above my dug-out, and showering dirt all over me. The more I go about and look around the more I admire the chaps who first landed here, and got a footing on the peninsula. No praise is too great for them. It is marvellous how they managed it at all. It is a solid place to hold. To charge up these precipitous hills and drive out a strong well-armed force is a deed that must live in the nation's history for ever. Our work is and will be hard but cannot exceed that first dash. You will understand easily that warfare in this war is different from anything in the world's history up to the present. It is a terrible slaughter in attack and a continuous kill and wound in trench life and digging. The 'drill-book' is pretty useless here except for disciplinary purposes. Excepting in attack, high explosives, shrapnel, bombs and sniping do the damage. At times, the damage is fairly considerable. The Turks do not hurt our trenches much with their artillery, but of course, get some of our men at times. There was a terrific bombardment of Achi Baba going on for three days incessantly, but no one here has heard the outcome of it, though of course rumours are plentiful. Though Achi Baba is nine or 10 miles away the roar of the big guns was tremendous. The noise of the rifle fire, shells and bombs kept us awake a good deal at first, but now we can sleep quite soundly. At times it is very quiet over here, not a shot being heard for a whole hour, and one would never think that this great struggle for liberty had reached these shores. But there are times here when it is quite lively and exciting, and one has to keep his head down, especially when there is a 'demonstration' on by either side. We have witnessed quite a few or these and they are particularly exciting and effective on a dark night, the red, white, blue and green flares which are fired in the air making quite a unique display, the white flares being particularly vivid and illuminating, lighting up the country for miles around. The country here is terribly wild and mountainous nothing but cliffs and valleys everywhere, and it is wonderful how the original landing party penetrated so far inland; they must have been a fine lot. It's a great pity they didn't have enough men to hold what was taken, as to-day we are practically only a stone's throw from the beach, the furthest point inland being no more than two and a half miles. Our present firing lines forming the shape of s semi-circle being close to the beach, we naturally have a swim now and then, though it is very risky (except at night) being all exposed to the Turkish trenches and swept by shrapnel and snipers every day. There are a good few Gurkhas over here, besides Sikhs and Punjabs: the Gurkhas are a particularly fine lot, much similar to the Jap in appearance and build. All the Indians are very fond of the Australians and are always giving them presents of some kind. At one particular place, where my platoon was working at night the Indians used to bring us food, tea, etc. Yesterday was pay-day for the 26th battalion, and our first since arrival. We were all paid £1 each in 10s currency notes: quite a novelty, one of which I enclose herewith. The Northern Miner (Charters Towers, Qld. : 1874 - 1954) Wed 17 Nov 1915 Page 7 WAR NEWS. A telegram has been received stating that Lieutenant R. E. A. McKimmin, son of Mr Robert McKimmin, had been transferred to the hospital at Malta, suffering from rheumatism.

    • The Men of "A" Company, 26th Battalion - grave details
    • Posted by jaydsydaus121, Tuesday, 4 February 2020

    McKIMMIN, Robert Emil Alexander Death notice: 17FEB1955 Age: 64 Other details: late of Katoomba Publication: Sydney Morning Herald, 18FEB1955 (source: ryerson index)